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NHL Releases Final Central Scouting Rankings

Central Scouting gives their final take on the draft class.

Bruce Bennett

NHL Central Scouting released their final edition of rankings for this summer's NHL Draft today. You can view the North American skater rankings and find all the other lists here. American Seth Jones remains the top player on the North American list.

It's worth taking a moment to talk about just what these rankings mean, since I tend to see a lot of confusion and misinterpretation about it. Particularly, people tend to look at these rankings on the day of the draft and talk about how "inaccurate" they are. That's not necessarily the point of these rankings though.

NHL Central Scouting acts as a sort of unofficial 31st NHL team, and makes their draft lists independently of any sort of consensus among the other NHL teams. The purpose of their lists is to give the other 30 teams in the NHL another team's draft list to use for comparison. The reason for the timing of this list--specifically, in the middle of the U18s/Tier I Jr. A playoffs-- is that it gives the other NHL teams one last chance to look at players they may have ranked way higher or way lower than Central Scouting on their own lists. That timing means these rankings are made obsolete almost immediately, let alone by draft day. These are called the 'final' rankings because they're the last rankings Central Scouting will put out, not because they're intended to be accurate reflection of what will happen on draft day.